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Friday, September 30, 2022

Ride-hailing firms told to ensure cost transparency

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – To protect customers, the authorities have asked Grab and other ride-hailing firms to follow the information disclosure requirements when they apply new surcharges.

The Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, on August 15 announced that Grab canceled its new heatwave surcharge on motorbike fares on July 7, just one day after imposing it.

The decision was due to a constraint in system settings, namely in the separation and distribution of income, which required the driver-partner to get 100% of the revenue (after tax) from the surcharge.

The heatwave surcharge or other fees applied by Grab, if added directly, will change the total fare paid by the consumer, said the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority.

Hence, companies need to inform consumers prior to applying the fees in compliance with the consumer protection law.

According to the Vietnam Consumer Protection Association, Grab’s heatwave surcharge caused controversy because fixed pricing cannot change based on weather conditions.

The authority requested Grab and other ride-hailing businesses to adjust their business procedures in compliance with the laws, ensuring the rights of customers and drivers.

Prior to application, the authorities demanded that Grab develop a system to enable automatic separation and distribution of income from such earnings and openly inform driver-partners about the process of revenue sharing from fees and surcharges.

Grab also needs to regularly notify the authorities of the application, adjustment and cancellation of fees, surcharges and other general transaction conditions.

On July 6, Grab announced a heatwave surcharge for its services, including GrabBike, GrabFood, GrabMart, and GrabExpress, in Hanoi City, HCMC and other localities.

The ride-hailing firm stated that its driver-partners would get 100% of the surcharge’s net earnings (after tax).

Grab said it had transferred all the revenue from the surcharge (after subtracting value-added tax) to its driver-partners at the end of July 29.

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